Dressing for the Warmer Months

Boston.com had a great article this week titled,  Warmer temperatures bring dress code challenges.  This is true.

I’m thrilled about being able to wear dresses and skirts but often times find myself wanting to wear flip flops rather than wedges or sandals.  So, I opted for flip flops earlier this week and as I walked through the hallway I instantly regretted the decission.  Not surprisingly, they flipped and flopped rather loudly.  Luckily I was wearing a rather long summer dress which I could shimmy down to hide my flippie floppies, but none the less I felt underdressed for a warm day at the office.

So what does Pattie Hunt Sinacole suggest?Well, she turned to her soon to be seventh grade daughter who informed her about the Six B’s at school, “What are the Six Bs? The Six Bs is an abbreviation for saying no to the following: bellies, butts, breasts, bras, boxers and backs.”  Straight and to the point.  I would say that by now everyone should know how to dress at work, there are of course exceptions so if you’re unclear about the guidelines, talk to your HR manager or to your boss and enjoy the summer!

What did you do today?

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Twitter is NOT a Strategy

Just as I wrote about social media being a part of a bigger whole, i.e. marketing, Twitter is also not a strategy.  What I mean is that you can’t simply say that Twitter, or any other social media platform, is what is going to increase your sales or leads.  There has to be a bigger strategy.  Twitter might simply allow you to get to your end goal.  So what is the strategy?  Usually, this is what needs to happen first.

1. Identify what’s lacking in your current marketing strategy. Is it overall exposure? Do you not really know who your online audience is?  Do you even have an online audience?  More importantly, are consumers talking about your brand and you simply have no way of conversing with them online?

2. Figure out who is going to be responsible for implementing and monitoring this new platform and who is going to create the content?  Content is key.  I have said and thought this a hundred times, there is NO reason for a company to implement a new marketing initiative without ensuring that it will be monitored and maintained.  If a customer comes across your blog, Twitter feed or Facebook page and sees that the last time you posted something was months ago or that the people on the page post questions and comments and a company spokesperson doesn’t respond to anyone, what’s the point?  I would feel like the company doesn’t care enough to share new news and to boot, if I have a comment, question or complaint nobody really cares enough to respond back to me.

So get those two things in order first and then figure out what platform makes the most sense to YOUR company, and don’t look to your competition to see what they are doing because they might be having different issues that they’re trying to resolve through Facebook, Twitter or a blog.

What did you do today?

Self Employment, You Can Do It!

Quite a few months ago I had this great idea that I would share 5 stories with you about people that are self employed in the hopes of giving everyone a little inspiration.   Well, I couldn’t get 5 stories and the idea kind of went by the wayside.  However, I do want to share with you a story from someone who did share their experience with me.

His Facebook fan page says that, “Greg is a Trainer, Student, Soldier, and All Around Good Person in the Boston Area. Currently he is working at the Boston Sports Club of Watertown, and is available for training in and out of The Boston Sports Clubs. http://www.gregtrainer.com”

Without further ado, I share with you Greg’s story of how he got into personal training and is happily self employed.

“I got into personal training because it is my passion. I actually enjoy sprinting up a hill 15 times, or loading a bar with 400 lbs and trying to pull it off the ground. It runs deeper than that though. The gym gave so much to me. I love the feeling of completing a grueling workout and walking around 2 hours later feeling great like I could run through a wall. Furthermore, when I left for College at the ripe age of 18 I was overweight. 216lbs and could barely do push ups. I was able to hit a 90mph fastball and throw the ball pretty fast as well and that had earned me enough accolades in high school to become a stand out player. I don’t want you to get the impression that I was lazy, I worked really hard at baseball but fitness was never really on my mind. In my freshman year I started to really read about working out and nutrition and was able to transform my body quite drastically. It’s been a love affair ever since.

Listen, I am never going to work a job that involves sitting at a desk or making copies. So I needed to make my passions work for me. I flirted with coaching baseball and I plan to return to it when I settle down somewhere and am finished with school. The fact of the matter is I research, read and live fitness everyday. I do it for me just as much as I do it for the benefit of my clients. Therefore it was an obvious choice. I can actually have fun making myself better at my job by training.

Not to get off on a tangent, but ‘personal training’ is not what I want to do or what I want to be considered. The industry is a bit of a joke. It is chock full of scam artists and people who simply look the part. With that said, the BSC did help me get a training off the ground. When you are hired at BSC you are hired as an apprentice trainer and as you gain clientele through ‘floor hours’ you are slowly weened off the ‘program’ and left to your own devices. You have minumus you must hit every month but the business is completely driven by you – or at least that’s the way it’s designed.

I have made my own opportunities. The cool thing about this industry is you can learn so much for free. I go out of my way to do observational internships with leaders in the field. I read articles and blogs every day. I started a blog and  gained a facebook following by being me and doing what I love and just using free networking tools to do so.”

How do you like that? Like Greg Robins CPT on Facebook for Greg’s tips!

What did you do today?

Looking for more inspiration?  Take a look at J’s Everyday Fashion blog. I began following this blog pretty much from the beginning.  J was just another marketing girl who was sure she’d be joining the unemployed crowd.  Through social media and networking she has become somewhat of a celebrity among us every day gals.

If these people can do it, so can you!

Summer 2011 Fashion

Hello summer!  We’ve missed you.  And now to get us gals inspired, here is what I would wear this summer.

Thanks to Black, Chanel, JB by Julie Brown, BJMakowski, MICHAEL by Michael Kors, Jessica Simpson, Big Buddha, Donna Ricco New York, ABS Collection and Eight Sixty for inspiration!

What did you do today?

The Importance of Making Your Content Easy to Read

Eric Enge of Stone Temple Consulting said the following notable quotable at Wednesday’s SEMNE event, “Everyone’s stupid when they’re impatient.”

What did he mean?  Basically that there is no sense in making your content so word rich and complex that it’s hard to get through.  These days, people want to land on a page on a website, learn what they wanted to learn and get out.  The minute you make it too hard to get to that golden content people won’t try and will just look for the information elsewhere.  In essence, people become “stupid” and can’t figure out how to navigate a site that may be pretty basic and if the content isn’t front and center they’ll get impatient and bounce.

Moral of the story, don’t have misleading landing pages, have the content you’re referring to in a PPC ad actually be the content on the page people get to and don’t have people click-through a variety of other pages to get to the content they want.  Just follow the KISS method and Keep It Simple Stupid.

What did you do today?

Writing Your Manager a LinkedIn Recommendation

Recently a friend of mine asked if I had written any posts about writing LinkedIn recommendations, and I don’t think I have.  I especially haven’t given any advice about writing your manager a recommendation.  His worry was that he’d come off as though he was kissing you know what.  I pretty much told him, who cares.  If someone, especially your manager, has helped you do better in your job then why not write them a recommendation.  This is the world of networking.

I say, write a good recommendation to whomever has helped you along the way.

What did you do today?

Company Representatives on Discussion Forums

So here is a question I pose to you, is it bad for an industry forum to have company representatives talk to the forum users.  For example, let’s take an automotive forum and let’s say someone from Ford decided to join and their purpose for joining was simply to see what comments might be out there about the company, what kinds of complaints people might be having and to simply answer any questions that might be posed.  And let’s say, this rep goes by the name of Fred from Ford.

Is it bad to have these kinds of people on forums?  My reason for asking this is that I am on a number of forums and have been welcomed by the users but have some times been shunned by the administrators.  They think that I am on there to push our company’s product,s which is not the case at all.  Overall I’ve had a great experience but how would you feel if a rep from a company whose products you buy al the time appeared on a forum and actually answered a question you had?  I would feel pretty damn awesome!

What did you do today?

The Summer Lull? Maybe not!

Who knew that perhaps, there really isn’t a summer slow down.  According to an article in the Boston Globe there are some good reasons to keep your head high and keep applying during the summer.  Here are my top three take away’s from Patty Coffey’s article:

1. During the “slowdown” companies actually have more time to review and interview potential candidates than during a busy season.
2. Due to many people, and myself, thinking that there is a summer slow down you may actually have better odds at landing a job since other searchers may slow down their searches.
3. Networking opportunities increase due to various parties and barbecues that friends may host.

What did you do today?
Get more tips by reading the full article: Why the summer is hot for job seekers.

The Upside of Unemployment?

I read an article in the Boston Magazine part of the Sunday Globe that really revved me up.  It was titled, The Upside of Unemployment.  This woman describes how due to being unemployed she has had the ability to get her life back, has time to do chores and do things such as getting the oil in her car changed on time.  She looks for work however, she also has time to throw small get togethers with friends.  Did I mention that she quit her job on her own accord and has been baffled by the fact that someone didn’t snatch her up for another job right away?

Now, as I recall my time while unemployed…towards the end, I knew that my benefits would run out soon so I would try not to buy as much food, I didn’t have health insurance for two months because I didn’t have the 300+ dollars a month to pay for it, and although I had time to get my car maintained I would try my hardest to drive as little as possible so I WOULDN’T have to spend the money on an oil change.  I would feel bad about going out during the day because my number one priority was to find a job, any job.  I didn’t go to the beach, I didn’t go skiing and I certainly wasn’t throwing parties if I didn’t have to.

I’m glad that some people have the means to enjoy being unemployed but I most certainly did not.  What are your thoughts on this article?

What did you do today?

Stressed to Success?

How many of you find yourselves in the following situation…Months go by when you feel like you can barely get your head above water due to the amount of work you have.  You are always hustling and looking at deadlines that creep up on you.

And then comes the lull.

We all know about it but forget it exists during times of stress.  But when it comes we feel like we’re not adequate and are waiting for the other shoe to drop.

It’s the inevitable “you want what you can’t have” scenario. When it’s balls to the walls time we’re running around and stressing but when things die down and the deadlines aren’t packed one on top of another I wonder what’s going on and what I might be doing wrong.  I have things to do but it’s like I need that stress to rev me up.  And of course inevitably we all feel awful about having a short lull in between the crazy times.  So what do you do?  I guess just enjoy the quiet ride and…not stress about it.

As my fiancee says, those people that feel bad about not going all out all the time and missing a day of work are the ones that employers should cherish.

What are your thoughts about the quiet times at work?

What did you do today?